Climate change necessitates major changes in infrastructure siting, design, and operations. Successful adaptation of infrastructure management requires overcoming thorny institutional challenges including path dependency and isomorphic pressures that inhibit major shifts in norms and practices. Hazards have been posited as a potential trigger for changing long-standing institutions because they can upend stable system states. However, research on the ability of hazards to shift norms and practices is still nascent and focuses on rapid-onset disasters like floods, hurricanes, or fires. In collaboration with the Ulibarri Lab at UC Irvine, this project uses the 2012–2016 California drought to assess the potential for slow-onset hazards to lead to institutional change.
Hazard response and slow-onset risks in infrastructure management